If there’s one staple food that every mum can rely on at meal time it has to be rice, as this versatile food pairs so well with just about anything you have in the fridge or cupboard. Not only is rice a great carbohydrate, but it’s low in fat and a good source of protein, so it has all the things a growing family needs.
Rice is also extremely budget friendly and is capable of filling many tummies on just a dollar or more, so it makes the perfect choice for a hungry family. If you think you’ve done just about all you can with rice, think again, as we have a delicious way to transform the plain old rice of the past into something exotic that even your kids will enjoy.
Pilaf has thousands of years of rich history in the cuisine world, dating back to Ancient Persia, and refers to a dish made of rice cooked in a seasoned broth. The best thing about this recipe is how easy it is to make, and you can easily adjust the seasoning and mild curry notes to suit your children’s taste buds. However the recipe itself is already extremely family friendly.
1 cup basmati rice
2 ½ cups of liquid chicken stock
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
500 grams of lean beef mince
¼ cup of currants
4 green onions
Olive oil spray
1 tablespoon of mild curry powder (or less to taste)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Sour cream or natural yoghurt to serve (optional)
- Begin by preheating the oven to 180 degrees and then laying the cherry tomatoes out on a tray covered with baking paper. Spray them lightly with olive oil and place in the oven for 20 minutes or until you can see them softening.
- While the tomatoes cook, spray some olive oil in the bottom of a large saucepan and cook your beef mince over a medium-high heat. Add the cumin, cinnamon, and curry powder as you go, stirring it all together for a few minutes.
- Add the cup of rice to the saucepan and mix in with the beef before pouring the stock in and stirring well. Cover the saucepan with a lid as you bring the stock to the boil.
- Once boiling, pour the mixture into a casserole style dish and cover with alfoil. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and put the casserole dish in, cooking for around 25 minutes or until the stock has been absorbed.
- Remove from the oven and stir in chopped green onions, cooked tomatoes, and currants. Serve the dish with a dollop of sour cream or natural yoghurt on top.
This is one of those simple meals that make very little mess and allow you to get one part done while the other is cooking away. The result is a sweetly spiced rice dish that gives your family a good serving of iron, protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables, with a rich dollop of sour cream on top for good measure.
Pilaf tastes even better the following day, and if you have the time, you can cook up an extra batch and freeze it into portions for another meal. You’ll be surprised at the flavours you can get from just a few simple ingredients, and it’s a great way to introduce herbs and spices to your children in a flavour that isn’t too overwhelming.